An update on the Hilda Solis appointment for Sec of Labor

December 30th, 2008 · 27 Comments

While some insist that this blog only bashes Latino politicians, I would like to think that we are holding them accountable. One politician that we have “cheered on” for her positive work is Representative Hilda Solis (D-CA), a tireless advocate of working Americans.

The NY Times had a decent opinion piece from a few days ago about the labor agenda in the next administration. Essentially, Hilda Solis will have a unique opportunity to make good on some of President-Elect Obama’s promises to working families. The Employee Free Choice Act is one piece of legislation that Solis has been supportive of, which would allow workers to more easily unionize.  

This particular part of the editorial struck me:

“The argument against unions — that they unduly burden employers with unreasonable demands — is one that corporate America makes in good times and bad, so the recession by itself is not an excuse to avoid pushing the bill next year. The real issue is whether enhanced unionizing would worsen the recession, and there is no evidence that it would.

There is a strong argument that the slack labor market of a recession actually makes unions all the more important. Without a united front, workers will have even less bargaining power in the recession than they had during the growth years of this decade, when they largely failed to get raises even as productivity and profits soared. If pay continues to lag, it will only prolong the downturn by inhibiting spending.”

Blogger Ezra Klein also referenced this part of the article, and further expounded the following:

“I’d only add that the last great leap forward for unions was during World War II, and the last great expansion of the American middle class followed in its aftermath. In contrast, the most recent expansions — which have largely occurred in the absence of unions — have benefited America’s rich.”

Increased worker productivity since the Reagan years has not corresponded with increased worker’s wages, while CEO and executive pay has gone through the roof. Unionization also balances corporate power. Solis, coming from a union family, which enabled her to earn a college education understands this.

I should also note that Senator Kennedy, who has honored Rep. Solis with a Profile in Courage Award in 2000, has already schedule the confirmation hearing for the Secretary of Labor nominee. Senator Kennedy also released the following statement regarding Hilda Solis today:

“She’s a tireless champion for working families. She understands the struggles that millions of Americans are facing, and she’ll be an invaluable asset to President Obama in protecting workers’ rights and restoring economic opportunity. I look forward very much to working with her on these critical issues in her new position.”

Tags: Barack Obama · Kennedys · Labor Relations · Rep. Hilda Solis

27 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Michaelr // Dec 30, 2008 at 7:10 pm

    Watching that YouTube clip, and hearing that attempt to cut off Hilda Solis almost conveys the mountain she has to climb to pass any House Resolutions related to union activities and protections for workers in the House. There is certainly a passion to her convictions. I wonder how much help she’s going to get from this Congress.

  • 2 DfD // Dec 30, 2008 at 9:22 pm

    Again, when Solis says, “new immigrants”, isn’t she referring to Illegal Aliens? What is she hiding????

  • 3 DfD // Dec 30, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Check out Hilda with the old commie crowd, Media Matters, Frank Sharry, and Janet M.

  • 4 DfD // Dec 30, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    We have to change the laws to take care of everybody, or just Illegal Aliens from Mexico?

  • 5 politicalfortune // Dec 30, 2008 at 10:52 pm

    Dude, I know the feeling – writing a blog entry after some cervezas but listen – what the hell is your point? You say 1) you’re going to give props to Hilda 2) unions are needed in the recession 3) Kennedy likes Hilda…ok…and anything else?? You know that Mike dude is a total alcoholic after viewing his responses.

  • 6 HispanicPundit // Dec 30, 2008 at 11:41 pm

    I’m curious, do you read any blogs by conservative economists (or even more importantly, any economists at all?? – your links are all to non-economists) or is your blog roll simply a long list of preaching to the choir? The reason I ask is that you make implicit assumptions in this post that are not as accurate as you seem to think they are. If not, I’d suggest adding Megan McArdle, Marginal Revolution and even Greg Mankiw to your blog roll. Even if you don’t agree with everything they write atleast you can understand the other side (Btw, while were on the subject of trying to understand both sides…I sure hope that if you are reading the NY Times you are also spending an equal amount of time reading the WSJ, atleast its free opinion section, see here).

    The first premise is the equivocation of “tireless advocate of working Americans” with unions: what you really meant to say is that Hilda Solis is a strong supporter of unions. But does being a strong supporter of unions really make someone a “tireless advocate of working Americans”? Do you really think that the Detroit model is better than, say, the Greensburg, Ind. model? The former is experiencing declining growth and limited job prospects, the latter is experiencing rapid growth and an expanded opportunity for advancement. Personally, I choose the latter…precisely because I have the workers in mind.

    In addition, even though unions benefit union members, they do so at the expense of non union members, who often are poorer. As Friedman said, “If unions raise wage rates in a particular occupation or industry, they necessarily make the amount of employment available in that occupation or industry less than it otherwise would be — just as any higher price cuts down the amount purchased. The effect is an increased number of persons seeking other jobs, which forces down wages in other occupations. Since unions have generally been strongest among groups that would have been high-paid anyway, their effect has been to make high-paid workers higher paid at the expense of lower-paid workers. Unions have therefore not only harmed the public at large and workers as a whole by distorting the use of labor; they have also made the incomes of the working class more unequal by reducing the opportunities available to the most disadvantaged workers”.

    This holds true in other countries as well. For example, Europe, which has traditionally had a significantly higher union representation than the United States has also traditionally had a significantly higher unemployment rate than the United States – especially among minorities. Which model then, do you take to be more in favor of “working Americans”?

    Second, you write, “Increased worker productivity since the Reagan years has not corresponded with increased worker’s wages, while CEO and executive pay has gone through the roof.” This is a very misleading statement and does not tell the whole story. When ever you read “facts” like this pay special attention to words like “household” and “wages” for they are cues that you are not getting the full story.

    One of the common methods of misleading is to take household income of yesteryear and compare it to household income today. But that is not a fair comparison, after all, households are constantly changing. They are not the same today as they were yesterday. Divorce, for example, is different. Furthermore, households are not even the same today when comparing different income levels. Just to give one distinction, divorce is much more common among the poor than among the middle class.

    Another is to focus only on wages. With each generation, wages become less of a percentage of your total compensation. Today we have health insurance, 401k’s, health savings accounts, education reimbursement and other benefits that don’t count as “wages”. By focusing only on wages, you are able to paint a very different picture than what is truly the case. And in fact, because of rising health care costs, the inclusion of 401ks and other retirement accounts along with other benefits, total compensation has in fact substantially risen with productivity. See this 7 minute clip and this for a critique and analysis of the current methods of measuring total compensation growth.

    So in conclusion, based on Hilda Solis’s prior stands, I think she is a horrible choice and will be a harm to working Americans.

  • 7 political // Dec 31, 2008 at 8:59 am

    HP – don’t be coming into this forum with your facts and )U@))@….this is a no fact zone yo! It’s a tough call – your heart says pro union, your mind says unions are inhaling too much hookah! late!

  • 8 DfD // Dec 31, 2008 at 9:21 am

    Without strong unions for AMERICAN WORKERS, would non-union workers have medical benefits, 401k plans, sick pay, etc…? The answer is NO!!!!

  • 9 HispanicPundit // Dec 31, 2008 at 9:54 am


    How so? Unions have always been a relatively small percentage of the workforce in the United States. Growing more during wars but drifting back to their near insignificant levels after wars are over. In other words, they just never had that much influence to affect the work force one way or the other.

    What does create the incentive for 401k plans, sick pay, and other benefits is not unions but competition. The very things unions undermine. Again, look at Detroit – sure they have slightly more benefits than say the workers in Greensburg Indiana, but in the end they have lower employment and a lackluster job prospect.

    This is not unique to Detroit either. It is no coincidence that unions are concentrated in areas that perform the worst and are always in need of some government bailout – autos, airlines, public schools and the public sector in general. In fact, that is precisely where the overwhelming majority of union representation is: the public sector. Where their failures and inefficiencies are hidden by the publics higher taxes.

    Unions are a drain…not a help to “working Americans”.

  • 10 political // Dec 31, 2008 at 10:42 am

    Dude F Dude – how do you know this? How do you know that non-union workers only have the above mentioned items due to union workers? It’s a chicken and egg isue…don’t be smoking what that union people smoke. Businesses would have had to offer those items to remain competetive! Each one wants better talent right? Like DfD – you think I would give medical benefits to you based on that post?? You know the answer to that and therin lies your take on the issue! Sober up bro!

  • 11 political // Dec 31, 2008 at 10:46 am

    Dude – did the webmaster dude just start moderating the comments or was this always? He can’t take the heat man! Yo – if you can’t take the heat, get out of the taco stand!

  • 12 DfD // Dec 31, 2008 at 12:39 pm

  • 13 DfD // Jan 1, 2009 at 8:53 am

    The fewer Illegal Aliens in the workplace means job and wage security for union American workers and their families…

  • 14 DfD // Jan 1, 2009 at 9:04 am

    A quick review of working conditions and wages at the turn of the century would answer your questions. Competition is a key word that you mentioned. Trying to imply that non-union members would have been given benefits and other fringeees, because of competition amongst employers is laughable. Many folks lost their lives trying to organize workers back then. They weren’t killed by the competition amongst employers. However, I don’t disagree that the UAW members benefits packages are “excessive”. Bu then again, so are the salaries, bonuses, and stock options taken in by the CEO’s of these companies. Wouldn’t you agree?

  • 15 DfD // Jan 1, 2009 at 9:10 am

    Off topic, but how about blog on where latino poiticians stand on this issue of newspapers survival?

  • 16 DfD // Jan 1, 2009 at 9:15 am

    One last thing in the linked article above….Frank NiCastro is a…….Democrat.

  • 17 Anna // Jan 2, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    Newspapers are failing because they do a lousy job of covering non-white people. I stoped subscribing to the LA Times because of the lousy way they depict Latinos.

    I had to read about people like 1995 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Mario Molina, astronauts Dr. Ellen Ochoa and John Olivas online. I found out that Mexican-Americans are the largest group of minority entrepreneurs from the Wall St Journal. One would think that the LA Times would print something like that, but nope. I found out from the NY Times that Sara Ramirez was the first Mexican-American to win a Tony Award. The LA Times didn’t cover her win at all. And for months they refused to cover golfer Lorena Ochoa, the number one female golfer in the world.

  • 18 Johnny Dilznik // Jan 2, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    You are right Anna. They don’t have any room to cover those stories because they are to busy with the illegal aliens sob stories. They are too busy trying to drum up support for all the “unauthorized Americans” who can’t get a break.

  • 19 Johnny Dilznik // Jan 2, 2009 at 7:32 pm


    Maybe the non-latino people are tired of hearing about these stories and are taking their money elsewhere. I know it is hard to believe but white people do have some purchsing power in the US. That is after they get done paying for all the “programs”.

  • 20 DfD // Jan 2, 2009 at 8:11 pm

    Anna is delusional. The obsessive sympathetic coverage of Illegal Aliens “Living in the Shadows” was way over the top supportive of non-white people. Newspapers are circling the drain because they’re Far-Leftist propaganda rags that nobody listens to any more.

  • 21 DfD // Jan 3, 2009 at 10:36 am

    This gets better all the time. Democratic Gov. Blago is too smart for the corrupt Democrats in the senate and in Illinois…,harry-reid-blagojevich-jesse-jackson-010209.article

  • 22 DfD // Jan 3, 2009 at 10:54 am

    More on Whorehay Boooosh legacy…

  • 23 HispanicPundit // Jan 3, 2009 at 11:31 am

    All of you are wrong. Newspapers are dying because of the internet…plain and simple. It’s pretty hard to compete with ‘free’.

    It will take time…but I predict the eventual demise of the newspaper industry. It will be a skeleton of what it is now.

  • 24 Anna // Jan 3, 2009 at 1:00 pm

    That is after they get done paying for all the “programs”.

    What a myth. Only white people work and pay taxes and they never use any programs. Right? Tell that to the state of Ohio. And on the other end of the economic scale you have white people getting billion dollar “bailouts.” I have a brain, so I’m not falling for your BS.

    Hispanic Pundit: You’re right that it’s the internet, but I think coverage is a factor too. Of course, the media will never admit that. They’ve convinced themselves that if everybody hates them, it signifies a job well done.

  • 25 DfD // Jan 3, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Wordplay is very important when listening to the MSM and the politicians who they support or work together with to mislead the American citizen. I mean, is it a fee, revenue enhancement, or a…………….TAX?

  • 26 patellian // Feb 24, 2009 at 2:54 pm

    These democrats are not democrats. They are commies. They have allowed the rape and pillage of our welfare system to grow their voters. They have deliberately destroyed the black family in order to control and brainwash their kids. They have welcomed lazy people into this country for a free ride to used them against the people who made it great. NO MATTER WHAT BS YOU HEAR WE WERE GREAT WE COULD HAVE BEEN EVEN GREATER> IT WASN’T BECAUSE WE WERE WHITEPerhaps they even had MLK and Malcom X killed because if they couldn’t keep the racial divide, they couldn’t control the population. Now they have left our borders open and have racialized our nation which probably would have been progressing better then it would have had they not interfered. What a bunch of immoral losers. Capitalists have always been more giving then these loser commies. In the end we will all be worse off. Who knows, maybe all of the people of Eurpean descent will be killed off! First take their money, then use it to take their jobs! We probably won’t even know because they control the media and will control the world. The lies that are already being spewed to the sheeple are amazing. WE ARE A NATION OF IMMIGRANTS AND SLAVES> OUR BORDERS SHOULD BE OPEN TO ANYONE THAT WANTS AN OPPORTUNITY

  • 27 Hilda Solis confirmed as Sec of Labor, Finally! // Feb 24, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    […] blogs before on this humble public servant many times before. You can read more about Hilda Solis here, here, and here. After a relatively smooth confirmation hearing, Solis got hung up on some minor […]

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